Hello, my lovely internet friends, thanks for coming back to join me today. I've only just managed to shake off a cold and am over the worst of the jet lag - I feel like it gets worse as I get older.
While I was in India I met a young lady who came to take a look at my jewellery and ended up buying a couple of pieces. We had made contact via the website earlier on and she wanted me to wrap a piece of turquoise she owned in copper wire. When Ms A came to the house she brought with her a little bag of bits and bobs which she wanted to have made up, among which were a pair of silver earrings, one of which had a broken catch, a few turquoise beads bought on a visit to Bhutan, lapis lazuli beads and a few pearls which came from one of the earrings. She'd made a start at stringing the beads with one of the earrings as a pendant, but had given up mid way, either bored, too busy, or unsure of the direction it was taking.
Ms A is an educator by profession, feisty, sensible, well spoken with a left wing attitude which chimed with mine, and I felt that although I had only just met her, we achieved an instant rapport.
I love bags that contain treasure - well, who doesn't? The possibilities are endless especially if one is given a free hand and I could see hours of fun in that little bag, a cornucopia of fun.
With the two earrings being virtually identical, I wanted to make necklaces that were as different from one another as possible. There was also an anxiety that the remaining catches on the earrings might break so I drilled holes into the tops of the earrings, cut off the remaining catches and filed down the ends to make them comfortable to wear. I added garnets, labradorite and carnelian chips to the mix as there weren't quite enough beads, and knowing that the lady does not like her jewellery too bright or big, picked muted colours that are more her bag. Anyone who knows me will understand that this was a design challenge for me as I tend to design big, bold and bright!
I had a single turquoise bead left over when I finished the garnet necklace and I put it in the second necklace at first, in place of the large lapis bead that now rests above the earring/pendant.
Ms A said she wasn't keen to have turquoise in both the necklaces when I sent her a picture taken with my phone. After a bit of toing and froing, with me sending her pictures of all the suitable replacements, we decided to swap it with the lapis bead, so I remade that particular strand for her. After all, the customer is always right and should have what she wants, as far as possible! This has always been the Caprilicious credo and I do my best to keep it going.
And then, of course it was the turn of the pendant bead which was destined to be wrapped in miles of tarnish resistant copper wire. The bead itself is pretty tiny, just over a centimetre long so I had to come up with a design that exposed as much of it as possible. I also had to make sure that the holes were covered up so that it appeared more like a cabochon than a bead. Tarnish resistant wire is coated with nylon and has to be manipulated by hand rather than with pliers as the nylon tears if held too tightly and the wire looks unsightly. It is a bit more difficult to use, however, Ms A wanted it and as I said before whatever Ms A wants, Ms A gets (sung to the tune of Whatever Lola wants.....).
There they are, then, Ms A's bag of beads, transformed into wearable pieces. I hope she is happy with them when she receives them, and wish her hours of enjoyment in them.
I had to make these pieces up as soon as possible because one of my friends is travelling to India and has agreed to carry them back with her. I wouldn't be able to trust them to the vagaries of the Indian postal system. I certainly wouldn't want them stolen and for Mrs Indian Postman to be wearing them on her next outing to the cinema!
That's me for this week, folks. Have a wonderful week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello good people, I'm a bit late posting as I've been busy in Bangalore with my mothers birthday party and a short trip to Pune to visit my sister and her family. I also visited friends and relatives who waited till the last week to stuff me full of food, making it impossible to fly back to the UK in the same clothes I went to India in. Fortunately, I know that this happens, and always carry at least one outfit that is a size larger than my usual, so that I didn't have to fly back looking and feeling like a stuffed pillow. Now that I'm home, I've developed a stinking cold, but have had to go to work - after such a long leave of absence, it would be unfair to my colleagues and patients to extend my time away. Anyway, enough with the excuses!!
So in the end, my mother had not one but two celebrations. After all the fuss and make believe embarrassment, she 'allowed' us to throw her a birthday party and invited a hundred people to lunch the previous day herself!! A prayer was said at a temple of her choice after which we all trooped back home to lunch where a marquee had been set up, caterers brought in food and she seemed to enjoy herself thoroughly.
Every surface that could possibly be festooned with marigold garlands was decorated, including a couple of tree trunks. Mum inspected the food and agreed that it looked palatable before she let her guests loose on it. In a complete departure from the norm, she served beer and biriyani as well as the regular vegetarian fare that is usual after a visit to the temple - at 90 she is pretty untraditional!
I had cousins come all the way from Canada and from far flung places in India, and all in all it was a fun party. As soon as the last guest left, we went into 'we must rest, we must rest up or we will be exhausted tomorrow' mode. A masseuse was brought in to give all the ladies a good rub down, to prepare us for the next day and we chilled out so that we could be sure to have fun at the party the next evening.
My sister in law and I were throwing the party for mum the next day - we wanted so much to have it by the poolside, but it rained ferociously at about 6pm. We were anxious that a repeat performance would destroy all our plans, and moved the party indoors. We decorated the room with banners and bunting, and then it was time to have some serious fun. Sonali, a very talented artist had painted a portrait of mum from some photographs I had sent her, and we set that up on an easel at the entrance to the room. We had a saxophonist play soft music for us and with the cocktail bar open, we were ready to rock.
Two of the ladies even wore Caprilicious!!
Mum was pleased with her party and said she enjoyed the speeches. After this, we had the masseuse come in again - her pay packet was stupendous, but I'll bet her arms ached that week. The rest of the holiday was an anti climax, and all I wanted to do was rest, although I did fly out to Pune for a couple of days to visit with my sister and her family, and got invited out to dinner most nights, so much so I put on a load of weight eating out every day.
On the 18th of April, the whole of India celebrated a festival where all the women buy a piece of jewellery to ensure prosperity throughout the year - I'm sure this festival was invented by jewellers and though I'm a heathen non believer, I thought it was a good enough excuse to go out and buy myself a couple of pieces of siver jewellery from my favourite jeweller on Commercial Street in Bangalore. After all, when in Rome, etc. etc.
It took me a couple of weeks before I could post here, and I truly missed my routine. However, I could see that I was quickly becoming a nuisance, asking to borrow the office laptop at night and having to wake up early to return it before anyone needed it.
I'm back home now, over the jet lag and back at the day job, so will be posting more regularly.
Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, how are you? I've been sweltering in temperatures around 28 - 34 degrees C - if I had any need of a fried egg, I could cook it on the pavement. However, it is lovely to be with my family and I am getting ready for mums birthday celebrations this weekend.
My sister and her family will come down from Pune where they live, cousins will arrive from Canada and Chennai and we will have around fifty people from just the extended family at the party. Between us, we have also managed to invite over eighty friends and the numbers at this party, which once looked as if it wouldn't go ahead have gone well past a hundred. We've chosen the poolside of Le Meridien, as we've had a party there in the past and they did us proud. My sister in law has worked hard to set it all up and I have been tying up all the loose ends over the last few days.
This was the last necklace I made before I left home, I bought the tasseled caftan pendant at the same time as my two silver Sufis, and it would have been churlish to leave it behind in the box. Besides, it is very pretty and I couldn't resist it.
It has been a relaxing couple of days while I've been waiting for all the excitement to start. I have a little room that looks out onto a balcony surrounded by fruit trees and this afternoon I was held prisoner there for over two hours.
Apparently the thing to do would have been to phone someone downstairs, and they would have let the dogs loose. The dogs would have gone ballistic at the sight of the intruders and the unholy row unleashed would have got the monkeys running for their life. I was content to peek out at them at short intervals and they eventually got bored looking at fruit they couldn't eat and left of their own accord. I wonder what they did in India when there weren't any mobile phones, I can't remember, it's been so long. Smoke signals??
India is mobile phone crazy and everyone and his dog has one, and they are on them, thumbs twitching away 24/7
That's me for today folks, have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place,
Hiya good people on the internet, nice to catch you again today. As you read this, I am girding my loins (what an old fashioned expression; to gird one's loins!! Not sure I even know what it means) to start packing my bags to fly to India tomorrow. I would have normally been flying out today, but it is Friday the 13th and I didn't want to travel - stupid, I know, but there it is!
Paraskevidekatriaphobia, or a phobia of Friday the 13th comes from the Greek words Paraskeví, meaning Friday, and dekatreís meaning thirteen. It probably originates from the story of Jesus' last supper and crucifixion, in which there were 13 individuals present in the Room on Maundy Thursday, the night before his death on Good Friday.
A study in the British Medical Journal, in 1993 concluded that there "is a significant level of traffic-related incidents on Friday the 13th as opposed to a random day, in the UK." However, the Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics (2008) stated that "fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur on a Friday the 13th because people are preventatively more careful or just stay home".
So the day is almost upon us, when my mother turns 90, fortunately able in body and entirely compos mentis. My sister in law and I have been working to set up a credible party and give her a good day, and the WhatsApp lines have been smoking hot with phone calls, invitations and messages! We will have a weekend of celebration, and horror of horrors, I am to make a speech - not sure how that happened, but it seemed like a good idea at the time when I first agreed to do it. We have a week to fine tune the party plan, and then it all happens.
I made this necklace with three strings of titanium coated druzy agate beads. I bought them for a completely different project and then changed my mind and left them lying in the drawer until inspiration struck this week. Tibetan brass beads inlaid with coral and turquoise chips and a golden sunstone clasp complement the beads in this very pretty necklace and it has already been snapped up.
The palette of indigo, purple, emerald and magenta gives the impression of an oil slick, indeed this is well known in hairdressing terms where people colour their hair in blended streaks of these colours to produce this very effect.
The Silver Sufi
Last week I mentioned a Sufi necklace I made to order with lapis nuggets and coral. I had to send away to Istanbul for the pendant and while I was doing this, I noticed another fretwork Sufi on their website, and I simply had to have him.
Whirling is a form of Sama or meditation involving physical activity, which originated among Sufis and is still practiced by Dervishes or Semazen. It is a customary meditation practice performed within the Sema, or worship ceremony, through which Semazen aim to reach the source of all perfection through abandoning one's egos and personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God, and spinning one's body in repetitive circles, which has been seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun.
The billowing skirts of my Sufi are beautiful in fretwork, and I teamed him with titanium coated black quartz nuggets and coral as an accent and added a brass Turkomen bead as an extra point of interest. A lovely vintage Kuchi coin dangles from the back of the clasp. Plenty to look at, then!
I haven't the time to organise a show in Bangalore this year, but if any of you reading this are interested, I will be carrying some of my jewellery and you are welcome to message me via the Caprilicious Facebook page and arrange to come and look at it, I'll be only too happy to see you.
That's me for this week folks, I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for coming back to Caprilicious for a look-see at the going ons here. I've had to go back to the day job and give it my all, knowing that a couple of weeks down the line, I will be on a plane back to India - so basically, I'm working between holidays! The week has been a bit boring in comparison to last week, but one can't be on holiday all the time,
I thought I'd make a couple of necklaces to take back to India with me. I've decided not to have a show this year as I am going to India in some of the hottest weeks of the year to celebrate my mothers ninetieth birthday. I don't think I'd have the time to do justice to a show, with all the preparation and work that a birthday party of that magnitude entails (some would call it laziness) in the enervating heat, but people who regularly pick up pieces from Caprilicious have been invited to come and take a look at a few pieces that I will carry with me. The necklaces I have on show below have no names as yet, but I thought I'd post the pictures anyway. For some reason the theme of the week was blue and only blue coloured beads seemed to come out of my stash - this was completely unplanned.
I've realised that the design ethic of Caprilicious is all about colour, texture and asymmetry, with more and more added until no more can go on. I love simple minimalistic jewellery, truly I do, but have to concede that I am unable to make or wear it, it is simply not my thing. Last week in Milan, I looked at the Dolce and Gabbana concession in La RInascente and it looked so colourful that I stopped and took a picture of it. However, I've now decided that I don't like the decor at all - it looks like the colour fairy vomited all over the shop, the designers didn't seem to know where and when to stop. I shall keep this picture in my mind at all times and this will prevent me from overdoing it and turning my jewellery into a migraine inducing riot of colourful madness.
I posted a picture of a Sufi necklace I made a couple of years ago on Instagram and a lady fell in love with it and ordered one for herself. I made it up for her as soon as the elements arrived - do forgive the pictures, they were taken with my phone on the arm of the chair I was sitting in while making the necklace. I didn't have time to get decent pictures as the necklace was packed and posted out the next morning and it was raining too hard to go out to the conservatory with the camera.
And last but not least, over the Easter weekend I spent some time sanding the pieces I made at Polymania - they have yet to be finished, especially the ones I learned from Kathleen Dustin. I have yet to decide how they will be hung and don't want to make such decisions in a hurry, so they will have to wait till I get back from India. My roommate Sherril gave me some pieces of veneer from a batch that she made, and rather than use the whole lot in one piece, I cut it up, added some pieces of colourful clay on either side and got myself six little ring trays, which also needed sanding and polishing.
That's me for this week, folks. I have loads of stuff to do this weekend - hubby is going to have the house painted while I am away, so I have to go out and choose the paint, a few bits of shopping have to be picked up - my mother is partial to ginger nut biscuits and chocolate, and I have yet to find a gift for my sister, who has moved into a brand new apartment. I also have to pack away the little knick knacks I have in my living room - unless I want hubs to just throw them into a cardboard carton willy nilly and leave it to fate whether they come out intact once the painter moves out of the room.
Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hey folks, thanks for stopping by, nice to catch up with you again. This is a bit late as we just got back from a few days in Milan last night. Fed up of the weather and cold in the UK, we took a short four day break - all we wanted was a quick direct flight, guaranteed warmth and a few touristy things to do, nothing strenuous. A nice hotel, decent food and something to get dressed up for - we put all these wishes into a box, shook it hard and picked out........drumroll.....Milan!
The touristy bits were easy - as Milan is mainly industrial, there isn't too much that we wanted to see, just the Duomo, and the mural of The Last Supper painted on the wall of a convent and we were done! We did add an exhibition of the works of Frida Kahlo to our must see items and strolled around the posh designer shops in the centre of Milan as if they were museums - they might as well have been, at those prices!
The Duomo has no dome and is dedicated to St Mary of the Nativity, took six centuries to finish and has spires ( Spiro??) and pointy bits galore. It is the largest church in Italy and the third largest in the world. Statues of saints abound - around 3500 of them ( I didn't know that there were that many saintly people who walked the earth!), and the doors are carved beautifully with the Stations of the Cross. People walked up to the doors and touched the figures of Christ and Mary, and where they were constantly rubbed one could see that the doors were made of bronze that was tarnished a dark green/ black. Much of the cathedral was being cleaned and refurbished, and I'm sure when they get around to the doors, they will be dazzlingly beautiful. It's a pity that they have been allowed to tarnish so badly in the first place. There are over 130 spires, and a nail allegedly from the Cross hangs at the apex of the vaulted roof. People mill around the square, taking selfies and the bars and restaurants serve up expensive food and drink, that cost a fraction of the price elsewhere, away from the Centro Storico.
Just across the square was another Temple - this time to conspicuous consumption - The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. It has a barrel domed glass roof, a beautiful mosaic floor, paintings and frescoes abound and the air smells expensive with loads of posh shops in it. Everything in the shops at first glance seemed to be made for anorexic, rich waifs. Mike showed me a dress and said how beautiful it was - well, even one of my legs wouldn't get into the whole dress. 'Just as well', I muttered to myself, clicking away. The shops were full of Japanese tourists buying handbags and headscarved middle eastern women, laden with bags buying the same designer goods that are probably available in the shops where they come from. Our hotel, which was a block away from the Duomo was full of Japanese and Middle Eastern tourists and the floor of the foyer was littered with shopping bags and weary women every evening. Mike and I were each in an ethnic minority of our own at breakfast - I am used to it, but he found the experience strange in Europe!
I took photographs in La RInascente - a department store just off the Galleria - everything was very very expensive, and once again geared up for the anorexics who walked past the fabulous food and chocolate shops without a second glance, making straight for the clothes. 'Just as well', I thought to myself again, clicking away without a pang of heartache for all the things I didn't buy!
Culture Vultures in Milano
The best part of our holiday was a visit to La Scala - the only tickets we could get at that late date were in the third row and a heart clutching 180 Euros each. I went against Mikes wishes and booked them online the day before we flew out, and I'm so glad I did. They had a modern ballet set to music on that week - I don't know Mahler at all, but the pieces by Mozart and Ravel were familiar. The ballet itself was spectacular, especially the piece choreographed to Ravel's Bolero - I was literally in tears by the end of it, I was so moved, bearing in mind I am not a person who cries at the drop of a hat - that twenty to thirty minute piece was worth the price of the tickets. The theatre itself is very beautiful inside, although it has a disappointingly nondescript exterior. The chairs are padded and comfortable, which is important if one has to sit still for hours at a time.
Frida Kahlo at MUDEC
I found out that there was an exhibition of curated works by Frida Kahlo at the Museum of Culture, MUDEC, so we schlepped across town to see it. The amount of pain this prodigious artist was in all through her life was difficult to bear, as it was all around us in her pictures and portraits. We were in awe of her accomplishments, lying flat on her back bound up in a corset, with a cigarette in one hand and paintbrush in the other, making meaningful art on a canvas suspended over her on a contraption of pulleys. Every brushstroke had a meaning ascribed to it and told a story - it wasn't just a pretty picture but almost a blogpost or diary painted in pictures, each one telling the story of what was happening in her life at the time and how she felt about it.
And then, on to the convent of Santa Maria Delle Grazie to see Leonardo Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' - painted on the refectory wall. It was commissioned by Luciano Sforza, the Duke of Milan - because the painting was on a thin exterior wall, the effects of humidity were felt more keenly, and the tempera failed to properly adhere to the wall. It was covered over with a curtain, but that trapped humidity further and the painting has been restored several times, the last one taking 21 years, using modern paint and completed in 1999. Twenty people are allowed in at a time for fifteen minutes, and I bought tickets online to beat the queues. The painting depicts the consternation of the twelve disciples when Jesus tells them that he is about to be betrayed by one of them - it has a lot of significance on Maundy Thursday, which coincidentally was the day we ended up going to see it.
Jesus is the central figure and all the apostles, painted in groups of three, look shocked and disturbed. Judas has been painted with his head lower than everyone else, third to the right of Jesus, clutching a bag of silver. Some really crazy person decided to knock a door into the refectory wall, just under Jesus, thus effectively amputating his feet - the door is now blocked off. On the opposite wall is painted a depiction of the crucifixion by Da Montorfano, added to later on by Da Vinci.
As we had got to the convent too early, we spent some time wandering around Leonardo's vineyard across the road and drinking fabulous Italian coffee in a cafe'.
Spring is definitely in the air in Italy and as we sat in the bars on Viale Magenta I saw a number of young people wearing wreaths of laurel leaves on their heads. I wondered whether there was a connection to the Easter holiday.
I walked up to one of the girls and asked her the significance of the wreaths - they were all celebrating graduation day - she had graduated with a degree in business studies and the new graduates wore a wreath of leaves to the ceremony.
The girls had flowers woven into them, and the boys just had leaves and red berries. The world belongs to them and I wished her well!
Hello folks, how are you today? Thanks for joining me at Caprilicious at the end of a nerve wracking and exhausting week. If you've been following the blog, you'll know that I have been in Bristol at Polymania, for four days since I last posted.
The three teachers arrived, two from the US through bad weather and blizzards, and one from London to let us in on their secrets - it was fantastic to learn at the feet of giants, and giants they are in their chosen artistic medium.
Of course, it huffed and puffed, snowed and blew a gale. Being at the top of the Bristol channel where all the weather to the UK comes in didn't help, and as we soon found, everywhere in Bristol is uphill. Dragging a suitcase full of kitchen implements, ceramic tiles, pasta machines and other sundries (and a few clothes), was not my idea of pleasure in a force ten gale, but just had to be done to get to the fun bit.
These are a few pictures from the event. I met up with loads of friends and broke my diet spectacularly, the food was so good, it was hard not to. When it came to Sunday and the whole place was covered with snow, the dilemma was whether to extend my stay for another night as some of the ladies who lived in more remote areas did, or to brave the elements. I decided to take a chance and thankfully my gamble paid off and I got home without a hitch. I have yet to finish the pieces I made at the event - but to my mind a workshop is really to learn the techniques without being fussed about the end result at the time. Lots of people wouldn't agree with me though, as they like to take home a finished piece of jewellery.
I came home and relaxed over a couple of days - I always take annual leave from work after an intensive learning event as it is difficult to snap back and forth from being a polymerista to a medic. Once I had recovered I sat in front of the telly with Michael and made a couple of suncatchers out of wire and beads for a friend at work.
I got Mike to hold them up in front of the window and got a quick couple of photographs to post on Instagram and as soon as I posted them I had an order for four more! They've obviously caught people's eye, and I can see that I will be making them on and off for the foreseeable future.
That's all I have time for this week folks. I have a few days off at Easter and have a surprise planned which I cannot reveal just now as Mike reads the blog and it wouldn't be a surprise then, would it? All I will reveal is that it involves The Last Supper which is very apt for this time of year. (Guesses in the comments section, please).
Have a lovely week, and I'll catch you next weekend,
Hello folks, thanks for joining me today, it certainly is good to catch up with you and I'm very pleased you dropped in to take a look at the goings on at Caprilicious. As you read this, I shall be elbow deep in polymer clay, learning new techniques, meeting old frineds, making new ones and having a great time at Polymania in Bristol. I was there last year and had a whale of a time. My only anxiety about this year is that once again on Sunday, when I'm due to travel back home on the train we are expecting bad weather in the UK - oh well, time for the thermal underwear, and I shall keep everything crossed that the trains will run, and run on time.
Lugging pasta machines and other heavy articles on a train across the country is not my idea of fun, but the great time I shall have there will most definitely be worth it. We have no less than Donna Kato, Kathleen Dustin and Carol Blackburn teaching us this time. I've been so keen to learn from these ladies for ages and ages, and now my wish will come true!
This week has been a productive one for Caprilicious - I've been trying out Amazon Prime for a month and binge watching movies. Of course while I'm watching all these movies, my hands have been busy with wire and beads. The parlous state of the NHS has meant that elective operations were cancelled and I got to come home early and make beads with polymer clay, and then turned them into a necklace.
Art Nouveau Torque Necklace
I bought a tutorial for a wire bracelet on Etsy from Doras Accessory and decided to use it as a template for a necklace instead. It has been sitting in my document cloud for an year and I finally found the sticking point - it calls for a frame of really thick wire. I didn't want to use copper, as nobody wants a green ring around the neck. Finally, I found 12g stainless steel wire and then had to hunt for a pair of wire cutters that would work as it is a very hard wire to cut without ruining my usual snips. Eventually I used the cutters I have for memory wire, and this just about did the job. A turquoise cabochon was trapped in squiggles and curlicues of wire and embellished with yet more wire and rutilated quartz beads.
More Polymer clay beads and another Fiesta necklace
I had some beads left over from the last necklace I made, and they were just sitting there staring reproachfully up at me. 'Use us, please, oh puhleeease', they moaned. Oh well, I'm a sucker for a hard luck story, so I quickly threw a few more into the oven to make up the numbers and made yet another Fiesta necklace.
I made these two torque necklaces last week, and as they were less than perfect, decided to keep them for myself. I wore one singly to work, and then a couple of days later, wore them together over a roll neck top. I think the torque necklace is great and am happy to wear one any time.
One of my colleagues at work asked me to make her a sun catcher and I made her one with a copper wire dragonfly. She liked it so much, she immediately ordered a couple more. They are very difficult to photograph but the little beads in the wings are made of silver lined glass seed beads and they pick up the light like wet cobwebs.
I love the picture with the sun shining behind it, although it's not the best photograph I've ever taken.
That's all I had time for this week people, have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next weekend, same time, same place.
Hello folks, thanks for coming back today. Thankfully the snow is gone and the lovely, rainy British weather is back. I can tell you there will be no more complaints from me about the rain, it is so much better than the snow.
It was International Women's Day yesterday, although I'm not quite sure why we need a day to honour women. Surely it would be good to stamp out injustice against women, stop domestic abuse, give them educational and pay parity and generally play nicely as a society - after all that makes more sense than just patting them on the head for a day and saying, 'well done' - how patronising is that?
Last week I showed you the 'Fiesta' necklaces I made at the request of a lady from Australia. Of the three I made, she liked the one I was wearing in this photograph, but wanted me to remove the coins in the bottom row. That would have meant cutting up the necklace and changing all three strands substantially. As I was pondering whether I really wanted to do that, another lady from India asked to buy it, so I decided to make more beads in the colours the Aussie lady liked and put together another necklace just for her. Here it is....
As I woke up this morning to post the blog, I found that it has been paid for, so after this I will sort out a courier to take it to it's forever home.
This necklace was inspired by the wedding necklaces worn by the Maasai. They are usually beaded and worn one on top of another in a stack. I didn't think more than three rings per stack would be acceptable for wear by non Maasai people who live in the UK so I made three tubes of polymer clay over wire that were connected together at the back and allowed to sit one on top of the other around the neck. This one is so much fun, so vibrant and interesting.
I loved it so much, I made a single ring - I've always loved the torque necklace and wanted to make one that I could wear easily to work. I think I'm going to keep this one! It is easier to wear and less conspicuous, and can be worn when there is a requirement to be a bit understated.
That's what I've been upto this week, folks. Have a lovely week and I'll catch you next Friday, same time, same place.
Hello folks, I am so happy to be home in one piece to be able to write this blog today. I've been to London (not to see the queen) to a Safety Collaborative event - we got there nice and early and wondered what the fuss was all about. There were warnings for snow and ice all over the UK and my colleague and I debated long and hard about whether we ought to risk it. Eventually we got the train at 730 am yesterday and reached London, easy peasy. There was a bit of snow on the ground, nothing to write home about. It was bitterly cold though, but I was dressed for it in multiple layers of clothing. We spent a nice day at the QEII centre outside Westminster Abbey, and got back to Euston early. And then the nightmare began! A horrendous journey back, with delays, stoppages on the track, everyone being decanted off the train in Rugby which is only 20 minutes from home to stand like a horde of zombies from Sean of the Dead on a freezing cold platform in the dark, in a bitter wind and snow, waiting for another train to pick us up to continue our journeys. Two and a half hours later I fell into Mike's car and heaved a sigh of relief. I was lucky - some of my colleagues ended up getting home after 4 and 5 hours on other routes!
It all began when I posted a necklace I made a couple of years ago on Instagram. A number of people got in touch asking if I could remake the necklace for them. The beads were made from polymer clay using tutorials written by Marie Segal on her blog, to resemble African Trade Beads. It took me ages to make the beads last time and even longer to make the canes to embellish them. I thought I ought to give it a go and dug out the tutorials, made the canes, rolled out the beads, made up the necklaces - and remade them, and remade them yet again. And now I dont like two out of three of them and am having to remake them once more this weekend. On much reflection and soul searching, it turns out that the elements I dislike are metal three hole connectors that I thought were a good idea to use at the time and I shall take them out.
I thought I'd show you the process that has evolved over the last few weekends, just so you know what it entails. Polymer clay canes are made much like sticks of Blackpool rock and every slice ought to look the same, or have the same pattern.
The beads were rolled out in long tubes and embellished with slices of a cane, then cut randomly into various sizes before being cured in my oven.
When beads of random lengths are put together, there is always a risk of awkwardness, and I had to remake them a number of times before two of them hung to my satisfaction and I went out into the cold conservatory and took some photographs. The third necklace was made with leftover beads and looked so awkward, I didn't bother to get a decent picture of it.
And then I found that I didn't like any of them at all and would have to take them all apart and start again. Oh no!
I really, really didn't like them at all. As it was the third one that wasn't right in every possible way, I remade it and realised that it was the connectors that were bothering me.
That's all I had time for this week folks, Thanks once again for joining me. Have a fabulous week and I'll catch you next week, same time, same place.